Federer thrashes Murray at ATP Finals
Updated: 2014-11-14 11:31
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball during his tennis match against Andy Murray of Britain at the ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena in London November 13, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
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Federer, the most successful player at the year-end championship with six titles, equaled Ivan Lendl's record of 12 semifinal appearances in winning his group ahead of Japanese debutant Kei Nishikori.
"I knew I was qualified, so maybe I went in a bit more relaxed," Federer said. "It's not the way I thought it was going to go, but there's always next year for Andy."
It was a ruthless win for Federer, and humiliation for Murray, who last won only one game in 2007 at Miami, against Novak Djokovic.
"It was a tough night. I've lost slam finals and stuff, which has been very tough," Murray said. "But in terms of the way the match went, it was not ideal from my side of the court, far from it."
In the other group, Djokovic will be guaranteed the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in four years if he beats Tomas Berdych on Friday. Going into the last round-robin matches, all four players can still make it to the semis; U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic takes on Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka.
Before playing Murray, the second-seeded Federer had already secured a semis berth after Nishikori defeated David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the afternoon. That left Murray needing to defeat the 17-Grand Slam champion in straight sets to make it to the last four at the O2 Arena and thwart Nishikori.
But Federer, yet to drop a set, made a perfect start, losing only eight points in a 23-minute first set without even serving well.
Murray, who fought hard this autumn to qualify for the season finale, continued to struggle in the second set. Federer opened a 5-0 lead and moved 30-0 up on Murray's service but missed an easy volley before the Scot managed to hold to salvage some pride, and give British fans a cheer.
"If I played well, he probably still would have won anyway," the fifth-seeded Murray said. "He was striking the ball very, very clean. After the first few games of the match, he played exceptionally well. Made very few mistakes. Was hitting the ball off the middle of the racket on serve, returns. He maybe didn't hit his first serve as well as he can, but apart from that, everything else was very clean."